A Closer Look at Clipper Motors

Which motor is right for your application?

The heart of a good hair clipper is a mechanical motor that drives the blade. Let's look at the three common types of clipper motors, and the pros and cons of each:

  1. The Magnetic Motor

    The magnetic motor is found in almost all of the most inexpensive clippers on the market. This motor design is simple and generally reliable, with few moving parts. The motor consists of a spring and an electomagnet working in tandem to vibrate the blade back and forth. While the magnetic motor provides less power than the other two motor designs, it may be sufficient for occassional uses.

  2. The Pivot Motor

    The pivot motor is similar to the magnetic motor, but uses two electromagnets and no spring. While the blade speed is actually reduced, pivot motor clippers produce at least twice the cutting power over magnetic motor clippers. This added power makes cutting through wet hair a breeze. Pivot motor clippers are used by professional stylists and are ideal for everyday cutting.

  3. The Rotary Motor

    Rotary motors are the engine behind the most powerful clippers on the market, and come in AC and DC powered units. Many DC powered units are cordless, powered by batteries. Although DC units are less powerful than AC units, the freedom of cords can be a welcomed delight. Rotary motor clippers are often expensive and used for bulk hair removal applications along with dog and horse grooming.